Author’s note: to better your reading experience click on the music at the end of the article.
It’s September 26th, 2018, and the universe is about to teach me an amazing lesson about unconditional love.
I’m running through the forest, my heart is beating beautifully in my chest, and I’m beginning to generate that warm glow all over my body just before I begin to sweat.
It’s a cold autumn morning, but the sun is throwing gold javelins through the treetops, and dew is glittering on every surface like spilled treasure.
I’m the richest man in the world.
Then I see it, a chandelier of diamond dewdrops stretching from one tree to another. At its centre is a Jurassic-sized spider, the colour of see-through amber, and a fat bumblebee locked in an epic battle of life and death.
My body, like a skittish racehorse, is urging me to run on. But my mind, the journalistic jockey, pulls on the reins and brings man and beast to a premature halt.
I’m drawn in by this diminutive drama, and fascinated by the high stakes struggle playing out before me. The spider snatches at the bumblebee with two of its long legs and shoots out a jet of silk thread snaring the whirring wings of its prey. The four fizzing wings of the bumblebee get tangled in sticky silk and its high pitched buzzing becomes a drowning drone.
Aware of the bee’s mortal weapon, the spider circles its partly packaged prey and attacks from behind, spinning the bumblebee like a bobbin and covering her in Mother Nature’s original shrinkwrap.
Something in me is stirred to act. I don’t want to see the bumblebee sacrificed. But on the other hand, doesn’t the spider have a right to its breakfast?
Screw the spider! I’m going to intervene. It’s now or never.
I pick up a twig from the forest floor and sally forth onto the battleground. It seems to me that the bumblebee is no longer droning, but actually moaning. It can’t be! And did I just see the spider smiling wickedly and licking her mandibular lips?
That’s it, I’m going in!
In my mind I’m Mars, bloody and sweating, with slashing sword and flashing eyes. I jab my pitiful twig into the web of woe. (There’s an awful double entendre if ever there was one!) The diamond dewdrops shake, rattle, and roll onto the ground, but so does the bumblebee, still wrapped in silk cellophane.
The pissed-off spider stares at me with her eight furious eyes—now that’s how you throw shade! Have you really looked into arachnid eyes? Damn it, they’re just like yours and mine!
I retreat with my candy-flossed twig and blue helmet, and congratulate myself on my unsolicited humanitarian effort. Examveda!
Meanwhile, the bumblebee has crawled out of her gossamer coffin, given me a sweet wink of thanks, and buzzed off in a puff of pollen.
You’re welcome ma’am, just doing my job!
It’s right then I realise, this is the meaning of life. This is why I’m here as a human being. Just to do my job.
The job of the spider is to make silk, catch flies, and make baby spiders. The job of the bumblebee is to pollinate flowers, make honey, and make baby bees. My job is to ride through life on my Trojan horse, convert unconditional love to conditional love, and make baby mes.
The universe, the divine, unconditional love, has done its job: it has created life, it has created death, and everything else in between.
After that it has no horse in the race, so to speak. It just lets the beautiful and brutal ballet of life and death play itself out, dispassionately, impersonally, unconditionally.
I, on the other hand, do have a stake in the struggle of life and death. I love bees, I love honey. But I have no great love for spiders. I love conditionally, passionately, and compassionately.
In a moment of clarity I realise, I am not a carbon-copy of the unconditional divine, I am the divine’s conditional expression of love and life. That’s my job.
So every day I will do my job, revealing the secret life of bees, and the state of being human, both in pain and in peace.
Every day I will do my best, and let the universe take care of the rest.
Bees are essential pollinators of both crops and wildflowers. The decline of bee populations is due to habitat loss, intensive monoculture farming and the use of pesticides. Support your local farmers’ markets, and buy local, organic produce. Natural food is the bee’s knees.